Roman Catholic Church

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Priests, Scholars Issue Measure Last Employed in 14th Century

They accuse Pope Francis of spreading heresy

(Newser) - Several dozen tradition-minded Roman Catholic theologians, priests, and academics have formally accused Pope Francis of spreading heresy with his 2016 opening to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics. In a 25-page letter delivered to Francis last month and provided Saturday to the AP , the 62 signatories issued a "filial correction"... More »

Fatima Siblings Will Become Saints

Children who saw visions of Mary will be canonized, church says

(Newser) - The two young siblings who Catholics believe saw a vision of the Madonna six times in the Portuguese village of Fatima in 1917 will be made saints, the Vatican said Thursday, per Reuters . Francisco and Jacinta Marto, along with their cousin Lucia Dos Santos, said they received three messages or... More »

Pope: Married Men May Be Solution to 'Enormous Problem'

Francis considering letting already wed men become ordained as priests

(Newser) - The Roman Catholic Church has an "enormous problem," Pope Francis told German newspaper Die Zeit in an interview published Thursday: a dearth of clergy. To solve that issue, CNN reports, the pontiff is considering tapping into "viri probati"—"tested men," or married ones. What... More »

Pope Francis Makes It Easier to Forgive Abortion

All priests can now absolve the 'grave sin'

(Newser) - Pope Francis temporarily gave Roman Catholic priests the power to forgive abortion during the Church's "Holy Year of Mercy," which ended Sunday. In a letter released Monday, however, the pope "extended" the right to priests, suggesting it would last at least until the end of his... More »

Mexican Priest Alive, but With 'Notable Signs of Torture'

Rev. Jose Luis Sanchez Ruiz had been abducted 3 days earlier

(Newser) - Since September, four Roman Catholic priests in Mexico have been abducted—and only one has come back alive. That priest, the Rev. Jose Luis Sanchez Ruiz, was found "dumped, with notable signs of torture" three days after he disappeared from the state of Veracruz, a bishop tells the AP... More »

Amid Easter Joy, Pope Laments 'Blind, Brutal Terrorism'

Francis mingles with crowds at Vatican, despite threats

(Newser) - Pope Francis tempered his Easter Sunday message of Christian hope with a denunciation of "blind" terrorism, recalling victims of attacks in Europe, Africa, and elsewhere, as well as expressing dismay that people fleeing war or poverty are being denied welcome as European countries squabble over the refugee crisis. Tens... More »

Mother Teresa Will Be a Saint

Pope Francis announces her canonization will be held on Sept. 4

(Newser) - It's official: Mother Teresa will be made a saint of the Catholic Church at a ceremony on Sept. 4, reports Reuters . Pope Francis, who signed off on the missionary's second miracle in December, announced the move at a meeting of cardinals on Tuesday. Teresa died in 1997 at... More »

Vatican to Catholics: Stop Trying to Convert Jews

Help them fight anti-Semitism instead: new report

(Newser) - The Vatican is taking steps toward fixing its long-troubled history with the Jewish faith with the Thursday release of a 10,000-word document that instructs Catholics to help Jews fight anti-Semitism instead of trying to convert them, Reuters reports. The Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews explained that Catholicism... More »

Pope: Priests Can Forgive Women Who've Had Abortions

Francis grants absolution power during Holy Year for 'painful decision'

(Newser) - Abortion is one of the sins that mandates automatic excommunication in the Roman Catholic Church, but for the Holy Year of Mercy that begins Dec. 8, Pope Francis says priests can, at their discretion, absolve women for terminating pregnancies, Reuters reports. "Many … believe that they have no other... More »

Christian ISIS Captive Dies a Muslim— Now What?

Photojournalist James Foley apparently converted during captivity

(Newser) - Many Roman Catholics saw journalist James Foley—who was kidnapped, tortured, and beheaded by ISIS —as a symbol of enduring faith under horrible circumstances. Then it came out that he had converted to Islam in captivity. Now what? "The answer is we can’t assess it," says... More »

Vatican Probes Own Child-Porn Cases

(Newser) - The Vatican investigated two cases of child pornography possession in the past year, officials said yesterday. The chief prosecutor of the Vatican city state's criminal tribunal, Gian Piero Milano, cited the two cases in a speech summarizing the tribunal's work in 2014. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico... More »

Pope Francis: Big Families Are Good

Softens his comment that Catholics needn't breed 'like rabbits'

(Newser) - Pope Francis praised big families today as a gift from God, after his comments that Catholics don't have to breed "like rabbits" made headlines this week. Francis said numerous children don't cause poverty in the developing world, as some have suggested, and that the real cause of... More »

Pope Francis Beatifies Paul VI

Says 'God is not afraid of new things'

(Newser) - Pope Francis today beatified Pope Paul VI, concluding the remarkable meeting of bishops debating family issues that drew parallels to the tumultuous reforms of the Second Vatican Council which Paul oversaw and implemented. Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI was on hand for the Mass. The bishops failed to reach consensus on... More »

Vatican Warming Toward Gay and Divorced Catholics

Synod urges Church to appreciate 'positive aspects of civil unions,' 'gifts' of gay Catholics

(Newser) - The Vatican, in the latest sign that this is not your daddy's Catholic Church , appears to be opening its arms to gay and divorced Catholics, urging its priests to make "courageous pastoral choices" that are inclusive to a bevy of family models outside the traditional one. The shift... More »

Miracle Credited to Pope Paul VI

He's set for beatification in October

(Newser) - No Pope Left Behind? Francis is rapidly shuffling his predecessors toward sainthood, yesterday attributing a miracle to Pope Paul VI in a move that puts him on the path to canonization—just after last month's canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII . Paul, who was elected in 1963... More »

2 Living Popes Canonize 2 Predecessors

John Paul II and John XXIII canonized in historic ceremony at Vatican

(Newser) - It's a four-pope day at the Vatican, as two living popes gathered for the first time to canonize two of their predecessors: Pope Francis presided today over what the AP notes is really a pretty brief ceremony that confirmed the sainthood of John Paul II and John XXIII. Appearing... More »

Vatican Gets First Overhaul in 25 Years

Move brings lay experts into the world of the Vatican's finances

(Newser) - Pope Francis today announced the first major shake-up in 25 years to what the AP terms the Vatican's "outdated and inefficient bureaucracy," in a move designed to bring outside experts into the murky world of Vatican finances. Reuters reports that Francis used a Motu Proprio—a document... More »

Pope: No More 'Monsignor' for Most Priests

Francis aims to further simplify honorifics

(Newser) - Pope Francis has done away with the honorific title "monsignor" for all but a few priests, further evidence of his desire for priests to be simple, humble servants. The Vatican's secretary of state sent a letter to its embassies asking them to inform bishops' conferences of the change.... More »

Pope Francis Crashes Posh Rome District

Reminds of 'cries of poor' as Christmas shopping season kicks off

(Newser) - Pope Francis, in the heart of Rome's fanciest shopping district, has prayed that the poor are never forgotten. His appearance today at the foot of the Spanish Steps follows a papal tradition of public prayer before a statue representing Mary on Dec. 8, a church holiday honoring the mother... More »

Bishop in Trouble for $42M House

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst dubbed 'Luxury Bishop'

(Newser) - A German bishop has been called to the principal's office after his exorbitant spending. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst—or the "Luxury Bishop" as the BBC calls him—is under fire for spending $42 million on his house and then lying about it. Some have called for him to resign.... More »

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